Let’s face it; everyone is late occasionally. Power cuts stops the alarm going off, public transport isn’t running on time, or there is an accident on the route to work – all valid reasons for being late and often beyond our control.  But then there are the people who take it to the extreme, who are always late and ready with an excuse.  So how do businesses monitor and deal with employee lateness?

Set the rules

Before you can take action, it is important that there are clear ground rules of which everyone is aware.  There can be no claim that the employees didn’t know what would happen if they were late, or that there is no ‘grace’ period as some businesses used to allow.  Therefore, the company should set out rules that are given to everyone stating:

  • Required timekeeping standards such as working hours, shift patterns or flexible working arrangements
  • What happens if you are persistently late
  • What is the disciplinary process for constant lateness
  • How this will be assessed
  • How lateness should be made up
  • Who should employees report to if they are late – ie their line manager

Once the process is in place, all employees should be made aware and held to the standard.  This process ensures that everyone realises the rules are real and there are no exceptions or special circumstances.

 Monitoring lateness

One of the trickier aspects of managing staff can be monitoring and dealing with lateness.  This can be greatly assisted by using a Workforce Management solution.  Among its aspects, the software has a time and attendance element that allows management to see which staff are at work at a given time and which staff are late. It also enables managers to observe lateness patterns.

The system works by providing a graphical view of rostered versus actual shifts and a colour coded exception report that highlights an exception – for example, if an employee is late or leaves work early.  By ensuring that this data can be provided for staff to view, there can be no claims of incorrect information, bias, or untruth.

The software works with time clocks, touch screen kiosks, vein scanners, POS terminals and even electronic time sheets to allow the accurate collection of data and the fair approach to employee lateness.

 Dealing with lateness in the right way

When formulating the lateness policy for the company, it might be an idea to talk to union representatives or other experts on employment work law.  The aim is to make the policy fair and also enforceable under current workplace law.  As part of the policy, employers should always aim to be fair and flexible with regards to working hours.

RITEQ’s Workforce Manager can help you organise your shift schedules, view time and attendance data, and easily highlights employees who are consistently late.

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